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outlines the role that private commercial space flight companies will play in the future of nasa. "washington journal" is next. >host: good morning and welcome to washington journal on this monday, august 6, 2012. the candidates for president are offering condolences after yesterday's shooting at a sikh temple in wisconsin. six victims and the shooter were killed. nasa has landed a rover on mars. on the campaign trail today president obama visit connecticut. we would like to hear from democrats on what you think about the tone of president obama's campaign.
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you can also join us online and share your comments through twitter. ansd on facebook. you can also email us. our question is for democrats only this morning. we would like to hear from you on what you think about the tone of president obama'campaigneds. here's a story --
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we will look and how you think the president is making his appeal and how he is coming across. here's a recent story from the associated press -- joining us to talk about this issue is our guest from the associated press. >> good morning. host: they're launching into the last couple months. how does the obama campaign want to be perceived? guest: much different than four
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years ago. they're trying to make the campaign more about romney than about the president. the economy is not strong enough right now to allow the president to run on an economic record that shows progress. he can argue that there's been progress, but it is still not really playing out on the ground and in the state that he needs to win. in order to deflect from that focus, he's talking about romney and romney is giving them the chance to do so, because romney is not talking very much about himself. the obama campaign is defining romney in many negative ways. we are seeing a ton of negative ads on both sides. obama came into office in 2008 as a different type of politician, someone who was going to unite the country and set aside partisan wrangling. veryead we are seeing aver negative campaign, which is probably the only way that he can win.
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if you think about it, it's not the kind of campaign that he ran in 2008 and not the kind of politician he depicted himself to be. host: is the campaign trying to create a difference between the campaign and the man himself? how closely linked are the ads in viewers mines to president obama? guest: there has not been evidence in the polls that his popularity has slipped. it has only been in the last six weeks or so where there's been a heavy barrage of negative ads from the president. the polling from swing space and national polls still show the president in a lot better light ben-ami. -- than romney. he is genuinely likable, has a nice family, is smart, and people think that he's the type of person that they want in
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charge. that is not something the polls show about mitt romney. mitt romney is banking on voters' thinking he's the better man to steer the economy. host: we will look at some ads in a little while. there's a new trend, having president obama addressed of your directly and speak to the camera. is that trying to lighten the message a little, to keep a personal connection alive rather than go on the attack? guest: yes, he is great on camera. the question is whether they will put romney speaking directly to camera. he never comes off as confident comfortable as obama. a direct appeal to cameras would usually come closer to the end of the campaign where he is trying to close the deal and saying you guys remember me, i
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am the one you trusted four years ago, so trust me again. he is their best asset and has a tremendous amount of appeal as the incumbent president. for him to be speaking now, that shows the campaign feels he really needs to make the connection. he needs to look voters in -- in the eye. they want to send the president out to reassure voters that he is still the guy they thought they elected four years ago. host: does this indicate how the democratic national convention might go? are you getting any insight into the zone that will have? guest: my guess is the president will be nothing but positive. he really has to be. there will be surrogates who will take shots at republicans and at mitt romney. my guess is president obama will
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be nothing but positive. he will give voters a memory of the great speech that he gave in 2008 in colorado when he spoke at the big stadium. this will be another stadium speed. now he's the incumbent. he can come out with all the gravitas and talk about the accomplishments and the future and what he wants to do in a second term and probably not even mention romney. he wants that moment to be about him, where he can stand alone at the national stage and rekindle all those great memories people have of him from the first time around. i don't think he will go-. -- go negative. thanks for talking with us, beth. we are asking democrats what you think about the tone of president obama campaign. tiffany is in pittsburgh. caller: good morning. i did not see obama speak, but
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i caught a little about michelle was speaking for her husband and she did a really good job. it is positive energy that she has in her campaign towards her husband. i was very pleased with her speech. host: is she taking a positive approach while president obama and the campaign can do more of the negative approach? >> yes, she is taking a more positive approach towards the campaign. i would like to see -- if americans think positive and go down that direction, then we should be fine versus mitt romney. host: brenda is a democrat joining us from texas. caller: i was listening to the
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reporter you had on before and the negative. president obama tried his best, but the demons on the other side, he has to deal with the beast only way the beast understands. this is not negative. we want to see those tax returns and romney's birth certificate, since they are from mexico. i want to see his grades. we don't see this as being negative. host: here's a look at one a day ad from the obama campaign. [video clip] >> mitt romney has used every trick in the book. he has paid less than 15% in taxes on $43 million in income
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and some wonder if he paid any taxes at all in some years. we don't know because he has only released one full year of his tax returns. >> i have put out as much as we are going to. >> what is mitt romney hiding? host: let's hear from tim in gainesville, florida. caller: good morning. nice to speak with you. host: what you think about that ad? caller: i know some people might think it's negative, but i think that what is happening with the president now is that he is running against a glorified flimflam man in romney. mitt romney said that he was going to get rid of obamacare and move to a time of personal responsibility. he instituted obamacare, basically, in massachusetts. the president following the tone of elizabeth warren, i
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think that he should of spoken about this three years ago. i hope that he will talk about a martial plan for the poor. that means poor white folks, poor latinos, poor black people in urban areas, for american indians, and that we can do something about the poor people in camden, new jersey and immokolee,., host: this tweet -- akron, ohio, rick. caller: i am 54. i. grew up i.-- i grew up in detroit. the democratic party has been dead 20 years.
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the day the labor unions died is the day the democratic party died. if you look at fdr and kennedy, what they did as a standard. you look at what barack obama has done. 80% of the company was against the wto, he had two years to destroy what bush created in eight years. the derivatives. the oil. the war. the propaganda outlets. but refused to lift a finger to do anything. now the democrats know that they not spit in the face of the base. that's why they're having their convention in north carolina. until the country comes together and forms and other union -- i don't know whether
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there will be riots in the streets or whatever -- the democratic party has been dead. i want to ask your listeners -- there's a book called "and taking back the rust belt one radio station at a time." it talks about clear channel radio in texas. the last four morris have been started by texans. all the oil companies are in texas such as halliburton as well. the kennedy assassination was in texas. when you talk about democratic party, there has to be a new democratic party to get us through this new version of globalization. host: here is what charles had to say -- next caller is in alexandria,
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virginia, kenny. go ahead. caller: i just wanted to say i don't think president obama is running a negative campaign. when you are running against somebody like mitt romney and the republican party, you want to make sure that you are pushing hard,. being, i am sure that is what obama is doing. he is defining romney. that romney must tell us what is about and what he will replace obamacare with. ma should keep pushing hard to stay in office. host: austin, texas. caller: i don't know when telling the truth became
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negative, but i know john carey made a big mistake not fighting back against the swift boats ad ads. so i think the obama campaign has learned to be aggressive and put out the facts. it is a fact that romney will not release his tax returns. that is just a fact. when he said i'm going to put out all i'm going to put out, you wonder what else he is holding back. what would be surprise us with if he were elected? it is the swift boating that was the most negative i can remember. if john carey had fought back against that, i'd think he would have won. but he did not seem to spring into action when he was attacked like that. i think president obama has done a lot of positive things and that is appreciated. host: barbara, do you think that
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ads the obama campaign is running are more about accomplishments or attacking the challenger? caller: it is a mix of both. if democrats lie back and let republicans do all the attacks, it will be another swift boat case. [video clip] >> when the president was elected, he talked about hope and change. what ever happened to hope and change? now it's seems he's coming out of the box with these old fashioned negative ads. >> by starting tough and looking convention and running accurate. >> barack obama will run more negative ads against this cabinet than ever in the history of the world. >> what ever happened to hope and change? >> i am mitt romney and i approve this message.
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host: let's go to ted in tampa. caller: i think the president is right on point regarding his campaign. i would love to see him or someone in the democratic party start talking, also, about the many jobs that have been outsourced or manyompanies of left this country in the last five years to seven years. so many jobs have left this country regarding that. i would love to see them show that. for example, ge, a major corporation come over 300,000 employees, 120,000 are overseas and so on. i think he also should talk about the international corporations. i would love to see him keep on talking about mitt romney, regarding his secret activities. he has so many secrets and so
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many things he is hiding. i think the president is doing the right thing as far as attacking him on his taxes and his governorship. is not talking about that either. i would love to see him continue doing that. host: this on twitter -- here are some facebook comments -- joel in texas on our democratic line, good morning. caller: this mornin -- good morning. i believe every american has the right to vet this nominee,
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romney. i'm upset with the democratic party not being tougher. romney went on abc on national television, his wife, she said that he is a generous man and that he gives tied to the church -- tithes to the third and gave up his salary as governor of massachusetts. he gave up his selma because he did not want to show his taxes. the guy is a bum. we don't need another crook in the white house. we need to see what is in those tax returns. he is a draft dodger. host: what you think about the tone of president obama's campaign? you'd think they should be going harder? caller: that's right. harry reid has a right to stand on the floor and called romney a
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crook. he is. the american people ought to demand. we don't need another richard nixon and the white house. host: let's look at comments from abc. debbie wasserman schultz, a former congresswoman, was asked about this debate that has been going on. majority leader senator harry reid has criticized mitt romney for not releasing his tax returns. here's how debbie wasserman schultz defended that. [video clip] >> i don't know who harry reid's source is, could clear this up intense seconds by releasing the 23 years of tax returns that he gave to john mccain when he was being vetted for vice president or even 12 years of tax returns that his own father said were what was appropriate, because one year of tax returns that he wants to release could just before show. a week ago mitt romney said in
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response to reporters' questions when asked if he ever paid a rate below 39%, said he would check and get back to us. i'm glad i was not holding my breath waiting for money to get back to us on that question. he still has not responded. host: that was the chairman of the dnc. let's listen to a counterpoint to that, senator instagram appearing yesterday on cnn. here's what he said. [video clip] >> he did not ask me about harry reid. i've been around this town awhile. i actually like harry reid, but what he did on the senate floor is out of bounds. i think he is lying about his statement knowing something about romney. >> you think the leader of the senate is lying? >> yes, i think that he has created an issue, is making
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things up. at a time when the country is about to fall apart, cybersecurity, there's a bipartisan are to do this, plenty of blame to go round. we are running out of time as a nation. let's start talking about the real issues that matter to real people. i cannot let that pass. i cannot believe the majority leader of the u.s. senate would make accusations that are absolutely unfounded and making things up to divert the campaign away from the real issues. host: that was central in the gramm speaking yesterday on cnn. here's a story that goes with that -- another headline from "usa
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today" along those lines -- are questions for you this morning is for democrats exclusively. we spoke with republicans yesterday in the first segment to get their take on the v.p. nominee is and who they think would be a good candidate to be the vice-presidential choice for mitt romney. let's look at a couple articles about the battle for who will be named the chosen republican vp nominee. years the wall street journal --
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we heard what republicans had to say about that yesterday. here's one last piece on that from the new york times -- he says an announcement could come later this week.
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we will be watching that on c- span as part of our campaign 2012 coverage. our question this morning is for democrats, to hear what you think about the tone of president obama's campaign it. is a positive or negative or aggressive enough? now in tampa, what do you think? caller: good morning. i started watching c-span 25 years ago because i cannot get any real news from the networks, because they boil everything down to he said/she said. i'm starting to get disappointed in you guys because you are starting to do the same thing. this is not he said/she said type of thing. this guy is like the manchurian candidate. he will not release any information about himself or his past. republicans have spent four years almost sang all these
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things based on innuendo and slander against the president. this is a real issue. we don't know anything about this guy. host: you are referring to mitt romney, floyd? caller: yes. host: what you think about the approached the obama campaign is taking? caller: it should be a lot more aggressive. the republicans have tried to outsource our country over the last 30 years, turned into an old party or a plutocracy, and we are fighting against that. -- they are trying to turn this into an oligarchy. i want to see the president and his campaign and us as democrats get far more aggressive. host: let's look at a recent campaign ad from the obama campaign. president obama addresses the
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view or directly. [video clip] >> over the next four or months, you have a choice to make. not just between two political parties or even two people. it is a choice between two very different plans for our country. governor romney's plan would cut taxes for the folks at the very top. it would roll back regulations on big banks. he says if we do, we did our economy will grow and everyone will benefit. we tried that approach. it is what caused the mess in the first place. i believe the only way to create an economy built to last is to strengthen the middle class, asking the wealthy to pay a little more so we can pay down our ducks in a balanced way, and so we can afford to invest in education, manufacturing, and homegrown american energy, for good middle-class jobs. sometimes politics can seem very small, but the choice you face could not be bigger. i'm barack obama and approve
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this message. host: a message from the obama campaign. one of the latest ads. here's a memo -- what do you think about the approach we just saw compared to the other ads the obama campaign? has put campaign let's go to charles in backs kley, georgia?
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caller: good morning. the criticism and negative campaigning is hogwash. i think president obama could get directly to how he wants to make health care an issue. if everyone in the u.s. has insurance, they can go to the hospital and get their bills taken care of with the doctor. a healthy america is a working america. everyone needs insurance to help keep down diseases and all. obama should let mitt romney do the criticism and adjusted to the point of making america clean and healthynd working and putting jobs out and his ideas on same-sex marriage and abortion. people have their own rights to do what they want to with their bodies. for instance, a lady gets
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pregnant and she does not want the child, she fears she cannot take care of it, obama says i'm not trying to tell you what to do with your own body, it's up to you and. he does not agree with abortion, but he's not point to tell someone else what to do with other own body. host: do you think the obama campaign should been touting the health care law more as an accomplishment? , i think so.a'am the romney campaign is trying to say that the health care plan has to be done away with, only because he tried to say if you don't have health care you will be penalized. i disagree with that. i don't think that he should tell anybody they should have insurance or make them have insurance. if a person does not want insurance, they should not get it, but everyone should have insurance to help take care of
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themselves. another reason the republicans are against it, i think, is the republicans have insurance already. they realize how much of a good thing is to have this type of insurance. host: now let's go on to james. what do you think? are you with us? let's go on to audrey in georgia. caller: host: good morning our last caller said he wants to hear more of a positive message from the obama campaign. caller: i think president obama needs to talk more about the health care. if you don't have health insurance, if you don't have good health, you can not work anyway. therefore, we need health care in order to work. my job left georgia in 2006
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under president bush. as for mitt romney, how can somebody that was born into wealth tell struggling people how to get up? he has never been on my level, so he cannot tell me how to get to his. he has always said he was born on home plate. the gas prices, they're yelling about the gas prices. the world is changing every day. gas is partly made from corn and corn prices are going up because of the drought. i think president obama -- mitt romney needs to get out disinformation, put out his paperwork. if he has nothing to be ashamed of, put it out there and let everybody see, then he will not back to worry whether or not the
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president is lying on him. this is what has to be done. this country is in turmoil. host: thanks for your call. let's get it a tweet -- looking at another store in the news this morning, the "new york times, other publications as well reporting on an attack at a sikh temple in near milwaukee and wisconsin. here's the story from oak creek, wisconsin --
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let's look at how president obama is responding to this. he put out a statement that says this: "michelle and i were deeply saddened -- mitt romney also responded in his own way. one is said he and his wife --
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this other story in the news, other newspapers reporting about the attack -- the shooter killed six people. i want to hear more on what you think about the tone being set by president obama's campaign. our next caller is gabriel in baltimore, maryland. caller: thanks for taking my call. [unintelligible]
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if you have $10 and no hope of getting any money for the next four years, you will not spend any money. the next thing, if i don't take care of my health, the sickness will spread and caused even more. the other party is always lying all the time. because the democrats don't put out their point, nobody knows what they are talking about. [unintelligible]
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the democrats need to address the media and state their point. host: now to columbus, ohio. what you think about the tone of the campaign? caller: i think he is using a good tone, but i think that needs to get a little bit more aggressive with romney. i have been watching this since obama got in. i am offended all across the board with the republican party. this is a real stuff going on in our country. they decided right now to start playing games in the situation they got us in. barack obama needs to go hard. i think the debates will do it. romney has been running this
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same story in all the debates that he has been running in. the same story with the taxes. he has never shown them. either he will show us the taxes or he will not win. he's not going to win anyway. i think the debates will settle it. host: comments on twitter -- you can join the conversation on facebook. let's hear from jerry in richmond, michigan. caller: hi. my comment is maybe it's not possible for the president to do this, but one of his big problems is he has the republicans lined up to oppose anything he does, when we hear the economy is not going well,
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presss the associated been saying of course he will oppose any one of the president's policies and will try to? block him in the house and? they are united against him. how can he get his policy across? can the president take on the republicans in congress? i am frustrated with the national media, any time a republican criticized presidential policy, i don't "ow why the follow isn't isn't it true your party is committed to blocking anything the president does?" i would like to see all republicans in congress held to task for their actions. host: let's hear from another caller, a democrat.
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what you think about the tone of president obama's campaign. this is from michigan, edward. are you with us? caller: i think that it is a preemptive strike, a pretty good strategy. as we get closer to the election, you will find the republicans will start running campaign ads about racism. i think this will put doubt in people's minds about romney on his real interest in the community -- in the country rather. romney has no right to complain about the president's actions when he did the same thing during the primary campaign. if the shoe was on the other foot. lindsey gramm is as phony as a $3 bill with all that garbage. i think the president should go stronger on them.
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maybe he should not have to do it, but his campaign people and other people should go after them strong and not let up 1 inch on the campaign. you cannot trust republicans. they are evil. host: let's hear from the head of the republican national committee on abc yesterday talking about employment and the president's jobs record. [video clip] >> do we want to continue down the direction of unemployment above 8% for countless months, a president that has not fulfilled the mission or the promises? do we want to continue this direction? no. as far as harry reid is concerned, you might want to go down that road, but i will not respond to a dirty lie near who has not filed tax
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returns, complaints about money, but lives in the ritz-carlton hotel down the street. this is just a made up issue. the fact that we will spend. any time talking spend. host: that was reince priebus referring to harry reid. let's hear the counterpoint of that from congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz on the abc, the head of the dnc talk about the president's record. [video clip] >> we are moving in the right direction. the president has proposed american jobs axed. it would be great if my colleagues on the republican side in congress would care more about getting the economy turned around and working with this president to pass the plan and create the jobs. >> congress has gone home, so that's not going to happen this year. >> we should not have gone home before passing american jobs act. they care more about defeating this president than they do
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about working with him to pass a balanced plan and continue to get the economy going. the ball is in their court. host: now from florida, andy is joining us. caller: i think the president should get a lot tougher. i was a rescue worker at the world trade center, a volunteer. i have to develop cancers already and a lot of health issues. the health bill is very important to the american people. the problem is they outsource jobs. when you worked for a big company, you pay half of your social security and your medicare. the company pays the other half. the problem is all these jobs have gone overseas and they don't have enough people here, and of companies to pay for social security and medicare, half of it. the problem is they want to do away with health care.
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if they do have to come back they would not even have to pay health care for the people of this country. social security is a great thing, along with medicare. i would not even be around right now. it's very important to have health coverage. host: here's:-- let's take a look at one last news story before heading. into our heading. -- into our next segment.
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let's take a look get that right now and listen to how the folks at nasa reacted to this. [video clip] >> we are safe on mars. [cheers]
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a few minutes later the first images came in showing one of under lates view afternoon sun. that was nasa celebrating the landing of the rover on mars. thanks for all your calls this morning from democrats on the tone of the bombing campaign. coming up next we will talk to yuval rosenberg of the fiscal times about one year after the u.s. credit rating was downgraded. and david owens from the edison electric institute to talk about the reliability of the u.s. power grid. we will be right back. >> in the weeks ahead, the political parties are holding their platform hearings in advance of the summer conventions. democrats voting this weekend on
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their final platform recommendations in detroit. later this month, republican start their platform process at the tap a convention site. c-span coverage of the party conventions begins august 10 with the reform party in the philadelphia, followed by live coverage of the republican national convention beginning monday, august 27 in tampa, and the democratic national convention in charlotte, north carolina, starting monday, september 3. >> "washington journal" continues. host: yuval rosenberg is senior editor of the fiscal times, joining us from new york city this morning. thanks for being here. guest: thanks for having me. host: the s&p downgrade a year later, a message unheated -- unheeded. a year ago the u.s. credit rating was dropped down a notch. take us back to that time and the trauma that. led that its guest: it was not exactly a surprise, the day that it came
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out, august 5, a year ago. we have had a prolonged debt ceiling debate. most of us remember that, and not very fondly. the s&p came out just after president obama and congress had agreed to raise the debt ceiling -- . raise the -- . the s&p found that that the agreement was not sufficient to put this country on a solid long-term the fiscal footing. at the same time what the s&p made clear in its downgrade was it was as much a verdict of the condemnation of the nation's politics, the ugly debt ceiling fight we had had and the ineffectiveness of our leaders in washington. relative to other countries, they felt the u.s. cannot solve its fiscal problems. so they downgraded. there was a lot of debate and questions and a lot of mayhem in the first days after the downgrade.
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the thing is that over the past year we have seen in terms of the market impact, it has been essentially a non event. host: let's look at video archive video of president obama addressing the nation about the economy and afghanistan. here's what he said a year ago about the downgrade. [video clip] >> on friday we learned that the united states received a downgrade by one of the credit rating agencies. not so much because they doubt our ability to pay our debts as we make good decisions, because after witnessing a month of wrangling over raising the debt ceiling they doubted our political system's ability to act. the market, on the other hand, continue believe our credit status is aaa. warren buffett said if there were a quadruple a-rating, i would give the united states that. i along with most of the world's
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investors agree. that does not mean we don't have a problem. the fact is we did not need the ratings agency to tell us we need a balanced long-term approach to deficit reduction. that was true last week. that was true last year. that was true the day i took office. we did not need the ratings agency to tell us that the gridlock in washington over the last several months has not been constructive, to say the least. we knew from the outset that a prolonged debate over the debt ceiling, a debate where the threat of default was used as a bargaining chip, could do enormous damage to our economy and the world. that threat coming after a string of economic disruptions in europe, japan, and the middle east, has ruined the market and dampened consumer confidence, and slowed the pace of recovery. host: president obama speaking a year ago about the downgrade.
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yuval rosenberg, the president is blaming the bickering in congress for the instability. what is your take away a year later? guest: one year later, i think not that much has changed. we see a lot of the same issues. i was amazed going back and looking at what happened just before the downgrade. we had rising concerns about the european central banks and they stepped in to say they would be buying bonds and the market was not sure about whether there were acting strongly enough. something like that just happened last week. domestically, there were able to agree on raising the debt ceiling, but pushing off a lot of the big issues that we are now facing again as we come towards the end of the year with the fiscal cliff, taxes and spending cuts that could really affect the economy next year. unfortunately, i think president
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obama was right in terms of the market reaction. we are still being treated as a aaa country. there's been more investor interest in buying u.s. treasuries. in terms of congressional action, we have not seen a lot of progress or a lot of reasons to be optimistic about our politicians being able to get things done. host: did the downgrade affects the economy at all? you mentioned the markets and how the market's not really been affected. has it affected the economy in the big picture? guest: it affected the markets in the short term. the day after the downgrade the market's tumble. people did not know what to make of it. a year later, we see that treasuries have rallied. interest rates on the 10-year treasury, benchmark at below 1.4% recently, about one percentage point down from a year ago.
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if it's not that people are scared of the u.s. dollar or the u.s. treasury. the appetite for those "usa today and products has grown. -- u.s. safe haven products has grown. there has not been substantial market reaction over the long term. people nowadays are saying it was an unprecedented move, they did not know what was going to come of it. there was talk interest rates would shoot higher and there would be other market impact. but so far it has been a non- event, negligible. host: we are talking about his store for mr. de in the fiscal times -- this story from yesterday. if you would like to call, here are the numbers --
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let's get to the phones, in new jersey, withew james, a democrat. caller: i called several weeks ago about the bank i'm involved with. anyhow, at the same time i learned recently through c-span that what happened was the farmers, ranchers, cow foolks people are getting 14 cents per pound on what they produce. all this money is going into the businesses that handle everything that is produced in wheat andthe
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corn and beef and pork and everything produced in america. 14 cents a pound is being given to the farmers and to the cowboys. my concern is we should -- i do emphasize that i am with the banks, and at the same time we should try to rearrange our focus into helping the people more, maybe giving the farmers 20 cents a pound on what they produce. maybe giving the beef people 20 cents a pound on what they produce. host: james is bringing up the economics of farming and agriculture. the farm bill stalled before congress left town for the august recess. a lot of critics said congress needed to work together better
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with the white house. where do we go from there? guest: there worked together and left town for five weeks. the truth is what james is talking about is not a bad example of where things stand in congress. much of the country is in drought conditions. people could use a farm bill. there were not able to get that done before leaving for vacation, going back to their districts. this is just another example of why people still don't have much more faith than they did a year ago when the s&p downgraded the country and our political ability to get things done. host: let's go to michael in phoenix, arizona on our independent line. caller: i believe we will have another downgrade because of the ack of cooperation -- i mean, no type of real negotiation between the parties.
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we got both of the wars and they're looking at another war possibly. they are worried about syria. but we have to worry about the people here in the united states first. host: yes, war -- i'm not sure if we will end up at war in syria, but there are a lot of policy issues that need to be decided. there's a question about just how well in terms of foreign- policy, how will congress and the president can work together and agree on policy direction. i think the other issue i should raise about this is there is some talk that the november election could result in -- and there are still questions that the s&p and still has questions about whether an election could
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really resolve this. even if we had mitt romney, a republican in the white house and republican-led congress, there are still questions about just how much we can get done. if we have a divided washington, but there are still lots of issues domestically and for and about how much can be accomplished even after the election. host: tony asks -- one has been the blowback? guest: the ratings agencies, including the s&p and moody's and fitch ratings, there was a lot of talk a year ago that the downgrade would not necessarily mean anything because they have lost all credibility during the financial crisis a few years back and their performance
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leading up to that financial crisis in terms of how bay rated bonds that ended up becoming junk. so the market impact has been negligible. i don't know how much of that has to do with people not putting a lot of credibility in the s&p. there are other factors behind it, too. the ratings agencies have a lot of room to go in regaining any reputation that they had. the other think it's the downgrade, the s&p, you could look at it as them trying to come out and be ahead of what was going on, send a message and say there are warning signs here. that morning has not been heeded. host: lexington, kentucky, william, a republican caller, good morning. caller: good morning. when interest rates start
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getting back to more normal rates like 5% or 5.5% which sort of implies the interest rate is going to be $1 trillion plus, the interest rate could go up to $2.2 trillion a year, how can the u.s. effort start paying continual year after year $1 trillion plus and growing interest bill? quite first of all, we're a ways away from 5% interest rates just yet. given where the federal reserve wants to keep rates to try to stimulate economic growth, but the longer term point is true, we need to deal with some of these fiscal issues. and at least demonstrate if
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we're not going to make drastic moves now, the real long-term plan. i think that is what rating agencies want to see. i think that is what investors want to see. it is something we're going to need to deal with. we have not dealt with it really over the past year and a definitive way, and it is something we're going to need to do it for the country to a potentially great grain is aaa credit rating but also to show it as political and fiscal leadership that will put us on a solid path long term. >> yuval rosenberg, you quote the founder of seaports securities and he says this -- guest: ted has been in the
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markets for a long time. he is 72. when i talk to him, he gave me a market perspective on this downgrade that happened a year ago, which essentially is that nothing much has happened. ted and other people have talked to in the markets feel that have no reason to be any more confident in our political leadership one year later. the problem, as he said, the stock market hates uncertainty in general, but with uncertainty regarding the fiscal cliff coming up at the end of the year, that is another overhang that has to be added on top of everything else going on in europe and economic growth concerns that exist in this country, too. host: a story but the 10 kicked cans that could send the u.s. are the fiscal cliff.
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what are one or two key things that washington could do that would give the market's positive signs? what are one or two things they could brokered deals on that was in the right signal? guest: the fiscal cliff issue is going to be getting even bigger in the coming months. we've seen little sign of movement on that. in terms of this is something set in place with that debt ceiling deal a year ago, we have automatic spending cuts and tax increases that were set to take place. this was supposed to be sort of hanging over politicians had to make sure they could get a long- term budget in place. they have not made much progress. if they're able to resolve some of those tax cut issues, whether the bush tax cuts will be extended, how the spending cuts
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are going to be dealt with both near and long term, whether there is one of the defense spending cuts or not, those are issues they are still grappling with. but we have another piece on our side this morning that looks at how congress has left town for five weeks and they really put off dealing with a lot of these issues until after the election. nothing, so far, nothing concrete or substantial has taken place. there are one or two signs of optimism or reasons for optimism. they have been able to work in a bipartisan fashion on some tax extenders last week. it is not like they have not done anything over the past year, but some of these big issues still need to be addressed. host: yuval rosenberg, senior editor at "fiscal times." democrat line. caller: we all know the debt ceiling debacle was caused by
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the republicans trying to use it as black male and order to get president obama to pass the high in tax cuts. that is the reason they were creating [unintelligible] it cost our country to pay more interest on the tax. it was bid by the republicans as blackmail, hostage-taking. the debt ceiling has never been raised itself -- it has been raised 12 times under ronald reagan. it will be raised under mitt romney if he becomes the president. this is routine. the only difference in the past four years is that we have a black president. you have a bunch of angry white men and all these billionaires -- mitch mcconnell made the statement. what he said was outlined in a book about how they got together on inauguration night when president obama was having his ball, angry, talking about
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what they could do. host: let's leave it there and go to yuval rosenberg to get a response on both his notion that republicans are to blame and also talk about raising the debt limit and the history of that. guest: i will take the second part first. raising the debt limit, like robert said, was pretty standard. it is only become revolved in what was sought a year ago became ait was -- it will political issue. tea party and other groups, republicans and democrats who won the country to deal with national debt, but the issue is, it was used as a political football for political purposes. that caused a lot of the
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acrimony and contentious debate we saw last year. at the same time, people on the other side will say that president obama should have or potentially had a grand bargain on the table with john boehner, and if he had stuck to the parameters they had laid out originally, maybe they could have had a deal there. there are arguments on both sides. but i do think what the caller is pointing to, this increase in polarization in the parties and washington, that affected the credibility of our political leadership. it has not damaged it in terms of, like i said before, in the market in terms of the fact we have seen since the downgrade came out, but there are still lingering questions about when our leadership kenaf shalit is some of these issues addressed. host: a tweeter: by fellow
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traders think it creates new debt. please answer. guest: i am not a budget expert, but raising the debt ceiling allows for the that the u.s. is on path to the books, allows the government to keep running, allows a lot of the services that people expect to keep being provided, checks to be paid out and things like that. i would question whether we need to walk down the debt ceiling. i think there might be better ways for our leaders to come together and work on long-term budget plan that is responsible. that, of course, i will leave the politics to the politicians. so far, at least over the last couple of years, we have not had that much get done. host: independent color, ohio.
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caller: ok, you know, we are worried about this debt. we should be. but as a country, we are relying on our congress and senate to solve the problems when they are the exact people that got us into this. i think c-span should start bringing up the records of every senator and congressman, and give out their fiscal amounts of money they have gained since going into office, and find out this is not a way to solve the problem by reelecting people that got us into this mess. guest: joe, don't you think the
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election committee turn some of that or change some of that? host: he is not with us anymore rid of but what are the market's saying about how the elections will shake out -- the markets or the economist, are they looking at how it was way one way or the other are just looking for some unity? guest: like ted said in that quote, first, they just want to have some certainty. in some ways it does not matter whether we go one way or another, they just want to have some certainty. and that holds true in terms of what s&p said a year ago when they downgraded. they did not take a good dog that position -- take a dogmatic position of not raising taxes, how much we should do by cutting government spending, they just wanted a plan. i think wall street in some cases has similar feelings.
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they want a plan. at the same time, it is hard to argue they have not supported mitt romney so far. they have done it through campaign contributions and there has been some talk, it was mentioned to me that he thought the market would were ahead if mitt romney was elected. as we have seen over the past year, even with the downgrade in these political issues we're discussing, the market is up 16% under president obama. the market really does want just some certainty so it knows what tax policies are going to be, what other fiscal spending example, defense spending, will be. that will help set the stage for further action. host: saying -- congress and the senate are the problem. yuval rosenberg here is a
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headline in "the washington times." the rating agency standard and poor's stunned the world a year ago by stripping his government of its prized aaa bond rating. the downgrade of long-term u.s. treasurys threatened to throw chaos in the financial markets, driving up interest rates, pushing down the dollar, schering investors away from stocks and into the traditional refuge for the fearful -- gold. but in fact, that has not happened. a year later, s&p's historic move looks like a non-event. yuval rosenberg, is this a case of the boy who cried wolf? does this create less fear for another downgrade? guest: i think another downgrade, now that we have been through one, i think they're ready less fear and uncertainty around it. the good news is, we made it through without substantial market impact, without our treasuries -- the interest rate
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on our treasures shooting higher. the u.s. is still considered a safe haven country for investors looking for safety. even if the u.s. being downgraded, they will flock to u.s. treasurys in response. we have made it through -- some would say it is a knock on s&p, that means there downgrade really did not mean anything. in most cases, in many cases, in practical terms, that is true. but like i said, is still is a missed opportunity and other ways because it was a message the country leadership could have received. we had a year of continued limbo, essentially. host: ohio, republican caller. caller: i host a radio show in cincinnati. i want as a couple of questions. do you think the uncertainty is
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with harry reid refusing to put forth a budget to the senate? t think part of the uncertainty -- do you think part of the uncertainty is we need to maintain the current tax rates, even if we raise taxes on the upper 1 percent honor to% which would generate just 10% of what they are spending right now. we have a deficit of $1 trillion per year. this would raise $1 billion per year. it would not have full effect as far as bringing about financial stability. guest: like i said, i think the market is not necessarily going to be dogmatic about which we wish to go in terms of taxes or spending. there is a lot of policy options that we have. it is just a matter of being able to come to gather. we had the simpson-bowles commission that was seen by s&p and a lot of market observers as a plan that could get us to
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long-term fiscal stability. that plan is still being kicked around. we a people in congress reportedly trying to resurrect a elements of it. there are ways we can move ahead, i just do not think we will see much action before the november election. host: yuval rosenberg, formerly worked as an editor at wnyc.com and fortune.com. there's a story today, the fiscal cliff looms large. s&p downgrade, one year later, a message and he did. democratic caller, a kansas city, kansas, joining us to talk about one year after the credit downgrade. caller: i would first -- i think a lot of the problems we're having right now is because of the fact the republicans don't
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want to work with the democrats in the manner in which they should. it seems like as soon as president obama stepped into office, i have been watching and listening to the news and what has been going on in the country, it seems like whenever the president tries to work to do something positive for the country, it was not happening because it seems there was a joint decision to knock down everything he is trying to do. he was a man who came and with hope for our country. i think the republicans would do well to heed the scripture that says "house divided itself will not stand." want to talk about the economy -- destroyed the economy of the country, you destroy the country. that is what is happening to a
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lot of countries. throughout history, it is known that once you destroy the economy, you destroy the people. if they would come to gather published together and be not concerned about who he is that what he is about, then he would be in a better position. >guest: president obama will be making that case to the american public over the next few months that he tried to get things done, and republicans in congress would not go along and just kept saying no. he had to deal with the obstructionist congress, essentially. that is something the american people will be voting about in november. host: tweet says, it only goes to show it is all relative. she says about the credit downgrade. even a lower rated u.s. may be seen as a better bet than other
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nations. put this in perspective for us, yuval rosenberg. where do we stand with other nations? guest: she is right, it is all relative. the u.s. lost its aaa rating from s&p. it still has the aaa rating from the other to the major rating agencies, moody's and fitch, but over the past year, we have seen the market is essential be more concerned about the situation in europe. that turns out to be good for the u.s., for u.s. treasurys and investors and for the dollar, in a lot of cases. we have only 11 s&p rated aaa countries left in the world- germany, australia, some other places. but in terms of the market, the u.s. essentially triple-a-rated, quadruple a raided, even, places that still trust and the u.s. is one of them. in terms of investing in u.s.
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bonds, buying dollars, the market is still far has shown of the last year is still has a lot of faith in the u.s. as a world leader and even though we lost the aaa rating a year ago, it does not really matter because investors look at everything on a relative basis. we have a better situation than many other places in the world. host: yuval rosenberg writes -- any speculation about what could happen in germany and with the impact could be? guest: in terms of a ratings downgrade, there's a lot of question about whether it would have any impact. i think people might still get
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nervous about the implications of that, especially germany been the anchor of the european economy. what we have seen in the u.s. and other cases that past, the ratings downgrade by themselves do not necessarily matter. investors tend to make up their own minds about what the financial strength of a country is and how much credit they should put in those regions that come out. like i said before, we had the european situation which has gotten worse. we had, same as last year, concerns about spain and italy that are out there mounting a year ago are still out there today. people are worried about where interest rates are from spanish and italian bonds and whether this nation's debt will be sustainable, if they can continue without default. essentially, like i said, that means the u.s. has remained a powerhouse and investors are still willing to buy u.s. bonds or buy u.s. dollars, but the
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european situation, as shaky as it is, i think if we go back to the question, germany, a downgrade by itself, would not necessarily mean all that much. it would probably rattle some people. based on past experience, it would not necessarily mean a disaster for germany or the eurozone. host: arnold, independent caller, tennessee. caller: what i find most distressing and maybe pessimistic about where things are headed with our country is it seems like the journalistic media apparatus of the country has ceded its responsibility in informing the citizenry into been something more as impartial. what i mean by that? when the s&p report came out a year ago, i downloaded and read it. it was available for anyone to do so. essentially, reporters said
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republicans say this is a lack of leadership by president obama and democrats say it is the tea party. wherever you turn on the tv, that is what you thought. the downgrade report actually specifically says, and i will qutoe, if they had changed their baseline assumption on the future of u.s. debt because the majority of republicans in congress continue to resist any measure to raise revenues, a position we believe, is reinforced by passing the budget control. they say a black and white that republicans in congress refusal to raise any revenues was a big part of their decision, but all of the reporting -- republicans say this and democrats say that -- and it is like the media has been touted to position of not ever wanting to offend anyone and not calling republicans out on their extremism. i think this bodes poorly for our future.
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i did not see any report that actually stated it was all he said/she said. what you say about that? guest: first, i urge you to take a look at the "fiscal times." you should check that out. second, i do think there's some truth to what you're seeing in terms of the media in general trying to provide a balanced view of things. that does not necessarily get at what is happening in terms of the s&p downgrade. maybe it did not play out some of the specific language as you may have wanted, but i do think in general the media has done a pretty good job of trying to explain some of these issues. and trying to put some perspective on what the s&p move meant. i went back and was looking at a whole bunch of articles that came out on the day of the downgrade and just after. there were questions about what it meant for consumers, the political process, and i think a
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lot of people pointed out at that time the s&p did specifically mention some of the republican approach while the same time, like i said before, not taking it out and out position on whether the long- term budget plan should involve specific amount of tax cuts or spending cuts or i mean tax increases or spending cuts. host: give us more of an insight into what s&p itself said when it made the downgrade, what justification is a plant. guest: there was an interesting back and forth on the day the downgrade came out. it is a peak of the treasury department and had that notice the downgrade was about to come down. treasury look at the s&p's map and pointed out and said, we have a $2 trillion problem here print your mouth is wrong. s&p tried to go back and forth and convince s&p to reexamine its analysis and real look at
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its conclusion. s&p went ahead and put forth the downgrade in any way. in part, the government would argue the treasure to permit people argue that the time, what they did essentially was shifted it from being an argument based on the fiscal policy and the math and the numbers to an argument based on the politics, much more based on politics than originally had been. in the end, what they came out with was a statement that, as the last caller mentioned, looked at both issues. they really ran through some of the debt ceiling agreement and what the numbers they're meant for it and also looked at the politics and the with the debt ceiling debate had taken place, and put a lot of blame, a lot of emphasis on the major of our political discourse and the fact it was so divided and that they were not able to come to an agreement until the 11th hour. that is what was going on a year ago.
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i think in a lot of ways, we of seen a lot of the same issues continue. host: texas, democratic caller. caller: it is good to hear you all this morning. i appreciate your comments. the republican view of people being manipulated and so forth, when nancy pelosi and harry reid went into office, that is when our fiscal problems began. they spent $1 billion like you and i would spend 50 cents. the sex trade in the drug culture, if you'd get somebody off of drugs, like being paid $700 an hour to make some look like an idiot, these are the things and the tricks and the things they tried to do using
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the republican line or whatever in order to make republicans deem evil, when in fact they do not see the evil in their own backyard. guest: some of those comments and some comments like that are one of the reasons we have this sort of deep divide between republicans and democrats. i think the level of discourse in the country has shifted over the last couple of years. actually, probably even before that. but the truth is, there are spending issues and tax issues and other fiscal issues in general that will need to be addressed. nasa company rover on mars, but we cannot come together on a budget plan for the long term. that is something that is going to need to change before things
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deteriorated. host: yuval rosenberg, let's hear from one more caller, independent line, indiana. are you with us? caller: yes. i just want to remind people watching this program right now, you do realize president obama had a majority in congress, a super majority for the first two years and got everything through he wanted to get through. let's please not forget about that while we are blaming republicans stalemate for s&p downgrading our credit. the midterm elections pretty much showed the president's policies were not very popular when the democrats lost historic amounts of seats in the congress and senate. i am an independent, not a republican or democrat, and understand what is going on. if the failed policies and
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leadership from this president that has left us with a stalemate in both houses. this put the blame exactly where it goes a bit like a said, let's not forget he had a majority and supermajority in the senate his first two years. if the democrats were not -- the democrats were not worried about working with republicans then. host: we have heard from our guests and colors, this gridlock, this argument between two sides have caused some of the problems and cantor did to s&p making his choice to downgrade u.s. credit rating. does the partisanship worry you? does that concern you? caller: it concerns me, but it is our government at work, i guess. the people spoke when they threw democrats out of office midterm. host: let's get a final response
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from mr. rosenberg. guest: the caller is getting to the ultimate take away. we have congressional elections of presidential elections in november. the hope is once we are past those elections, whenever the results may be, that we will finally be able to break some of this log jam and make some progress on these issues and other ones. host: yuval rosenberg, senior editor of "the fiscal times." thank you so much for talking with us today. guest: thank you for having me. >> coming next, the reliability of the u.s. power grid with david owens. also, are your money summit. commercial spaceflight at nasa. first, this is update from c-
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span radio. >> work this morning from syrian rebel spokesman the contras during cabinet ministers have defected, including the prime minister. he is the highest level government official to defect to the opposition and the 17-month uprising. syrian state tv says he has been fired, but an official source says the dismissal followed his defection to neighboring jordan with his family. he had been considered a loyalist and al-assad's ruling party. an update on the illinois republican senator mark kirk. he has released a second video message to telling his recovery after a january stroke saying he is in contact with his office several times a day and has climbed 145 flights of stairs. he also says in the video is open democratic senator dick durbin find a replacement as attorney patrick fitzgerald who has announced he is resigning
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rid today marks the 67th anniversary of the world's first atomic bomb attack on hiroshima japan. about 50,000 people attended the annual ceremony. the bomb killed about 140,000 people and another bomb dropped three days later, killing an estimated 70,000 residents. japan surrendered six days later. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> in the weeks ahead, the political parties are holding their platform hearings in advance of the summer conventions with democrats voting this weekend on a final thought from recommendations in detroit. later this month, republicans are their platform process at the tampa convention site. c-span coverage of the party conventions begins august 10 with the reform party in philadelphia followed by live gavel-to-gavel coverage of republican national convention beginning monday august 27 from tampa. the democratic national convention live from charlotte,
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north carolina, monday september 3. >> ""washington journal" continues. host: david owens, edison electric institute. good morning, sir. we wanted to talk about the u.s. power grid and how reliable is in the wake of the blackout suffered in india last week. here's the headline from "the new york times." who sought images of people stuck on trains, a barber doing his work by candlelight. there's no word ago, and nothing to do. how did this outage happened? guest: a number of factors contributed. one is that they may have -- a demand exceeded supply. the second issue is the infrastructure in india is in
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need of tremendous enhancement they have a very fragile infrastructure. if you have a lot of energy flowing across, as an example, the wires, it can create disruption if the infrastructure is not sufficient to carry that energy. a third issue is planning. it is very important. if we try to keep supply and demand in balance, it is important have a robust plan and can implement it. it also means that have clarity in the rolls. there has to be clear government roles, there has to be private investment and public investment in order to enhance the grid. this is not something that just happen overnight. this was evolving over time. all of those elements are tied to building a robust infrastructure. host: 600 million people were left without power in india, the largest outage and global history. 300 million people in india have
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no access to electricity on a regular basis they live without electricity. the story from "new york times," had all the makings of a disaster movie. giving us a sense of the scale of this print this could happen in america? host: i do not believe it could. i will speak to some things we certainly need to do with respect -- let me address the points when i spoke to about india. if we look at our supply and demand, we have ample supply to meet our demand. growth is projected at 1%. we have ample supply. but i put a question mark on
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that as well. we are in a time of transition for our energy supply. we're always concerned about protecting the environment. traditionally we are a nation that has depended heavily on coal as a resource. 50% historically has been from coal. we're trying to be more environmentally conscious. we're retiring a number of coal plants and relying increasingly on shale gas. with respect to the wires infrastructure, we're spending on average $12 billion to $14 billion a year, and we need to spend much more. we need to have clarity in the roles. we need to make sure we do not have barriers that are preventing us to have expenses -- incentives to expand. any clarity in the overall rules with respect to how we move
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forward. we do not have a natural energy policy. i think there is an urgency to the clarity on those aspects. while i don't believe it is possible, i think we continually have to upgrade our infrastructure that is in substantial need of new investment. host: david owens, vice president of the edison electric institute. what is that isn't electric institute? guest: privately-owned electric companies not just in the u.s. but overseas. roughly, two-thirds of the electricity we use today is provided by privately owned companies. these are companies that sell securities on wall street's. some of those companies are privately owned by individuals. but for the most part, we are a vital part of our society. most end-users get their electricity from privately owned utilities, which are represent.
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host: if you'd like to join the conversation, here are the numbers to call -- here's an image from npr visualizing the u.s. electric grid. we see three main sections, the eastern grid, the western grid, and texas. guest: that is our. . the grid is policed by an organization called the north american collector >> reliability organization published electrical reliability organization. they created an organization which is policed by the federal energy regulatory commission that makes sure the lights stay on. the grits operate together they
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are policed by the north american electric reliability corp. as well as what we call it regional reliability entities. i do not want to get too complicated, but simplistically, with oversight of the grid and reliability, with walls and must comply with it we do not comply with them, they're very stiff enforcement considerations. host: why are there three separate units? why are we having a different sections? guest: the west has a different growth rate. the west has a different way the economy's have devolved. there are vast differences in land or people are not populated in the west for it in texas, which is also fairly unique, we have always had a situation and texas where taxes has sought to evolve in a different way than some of the other states have involved. east of the mississippi is the
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eastern grid. but because the way our economy involved is very different, each of those grids, however, work in cooperation and police reliability. host: let's take some calls for a democrat line, new jersey. caller: good morning. this is something i've been thinking about for a while, the infrastructure with electricity. in the northeast, we have had so many terrible storms were power is off for seven or eight days because of the infrastructure of the wiring. shouldn't we start getting jobs in this country where we just put all of our wiring underground no matter where it is? that would save so much time for the actual electric companies having to worry about that, and we will actually do very well with getting jobs for the country for those bonds were all
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those wires are 70 to 80 years old. guest: you are really we calledg the electric system. there are various ways to do that. i am a strong proponent need to make additional investment in the system. undergrounding is one report -- approach. it has a much higher cost, as you know, than having lines above ground decoster undergrounding is five to 10 times more expensive. in view of the changes in our weather over recent years, that should be a careful consideration but it is a matter of balancing the risk and the benefits to increase costs and the recognition with those benefits would be derived. in addition, there's always going to be a part of the system that is exposed to the weather. even if you do undergrounding, they're still a portion of that system that will be subject to
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lightning, heavy when storms, and so forth. what is suggested is certainly an important consideration that utilities and public service commissions are looking at today in light of the recent flurry of storms we have had. but there are other ways to hardin the system as well. you look at ways to make sure the polls -- there are various components used to produce electricity. there are wires, putting them underground is an approach, there are the poles that support the lines above ground, there are transformers, and various components of the system that seriously we need to look at providing some additional heartening. >> looking at them as a powdepor outage in india and comparing u.s. electric grid to what happened in india. david jones, how did they get the power back on? guest: 20 of a major disruption
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-- winnie have a major outage as they had, you have to turn the power and gradually because you do not want to overload the system. yet to make sure the supply meets the demand. yet the hospitals, essential infrastructures. you make sure those infrastructures are brought on first. you eve of the demand with the supply, always making sure it is in balance. if you do that improperly, what it will do is lead to an additional outage. if they brought back the -- they brought it back gradually. they made appeals to the public to reduce their consumption. supply and demand was in balance. host: a headline -- victor, republican, silver spring, maryland.
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caller: i blame a lot of the problems with our with the environmental wackos. i call them watermelons because their grip on the outside, read on the inside. the caller who suggested we put the lines underground, is the one to be one of the ones that will complain we might be disturbing a fly or something? this really ticks me off. we had an incident in mcqueary county -- much, county who was going to cut down this tree because he thought it was too close to a power line and his wife and neighbor try to keep from using a chainsaw. she hooked herself around the tree. she is a tree hugger. what happens? the power goes off, the guy goes to inspect the damage and steps on a live power lines and is dead because of that. if he had been able to cut down the tree without his nosy neighbor, he would be alive today.
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i really and truly have had it with these environmental wackos sticking their oar in and try to block everything because "we have to protect that fly." guest: let me respond. we always have to achieve a balance. vegetation management, the trimming of trees, because when you have storms those trees sometimes have a tendency to blow into the wires and bring down the wires but it is very, very critical. many people believe and support strongly vegetation management approaches. however, people like trees. in some instances, there will be resistance about trimming trees. it is something local utilities always has to contend with. when there is major interruption because a tree is blown into wires, they're unhappy and plan the utilities. there has to be a balance we
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have to achieve. we have to protect the environment, but on the other hand we have to make sure we're maintaining clarity's of the wires are not disruptive if we have a major storm. i understand your point. host: another local call, washington, d.c., independent line. caller: i would like to say something, the rates continue to constantly go up in this area. we're seeing very little from what they have done in the district. everytime we have power lines fall down, we have other companies that come from other jurisdictions. we do not see one tepco truck. we had the downed power lines a couple weeks ago and people were without power for days, like a week.
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we continue to get a higher rates from the power companies. we did little to no representation for what we pay for these high rates. in the last 10 years, i would say electric companies, especially here, they have gone up like 110% within the last 10 years, and have little but the same service. host: you mention the storm couple of weeks ago. did you lose power? did you see trees go down? caller: i did not lose power. one block might have been tore up and another two or three blocks letter may have been clear and certain other areas may have had a lot of downed power trees. host: a recent story, electricity supplier here in washington, d.c., a report lockets reaction to the storm
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reached its evaluation at odds with customers people on both sides of the parliament agreed the storm that peril to the washington area brought with it weather, the likes of which have not been expressed in the region. that is where the similarities end. guest: there are several questions here. if i might provide context for my answer. every utility has as its top priority keeping the lights on in the system say. no utility will be successful if their customers are upset with them. our business model is fundamental to our -- it is fundamental to our business model to keep the lights on for our customer. let's talk a little bit about
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the tremendous storm we had several weeks ago. the ratio. what does that mean? it is a quick storm that comes up with tremendous winds and very little time to prepare for it. if it were a hurricane, we would stage our crews. that means we have a mutual assistance program or utilities were together to make sure we keep the lights on. we get utilities from other states who will lend their crews in order to provide an electric service. as the caller indicated, he saw trucks from other states or other utilities providing service. that is an agreement pepco has to restore service much more quickly. when you make investments in the infrastructure, if you're seeking to have greater crews or
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equipment or if you're seeking to do greater tree trimming, which recall visitation management, that costs money. -- which we call vegetation management, that costs money. you recover costs through rate spread that is what is going on. if you want us to have a reliable and safe system, if you must have a system where we can have our commerce and our area grow, it is vital we have a reliable and safe electric system. and that requires an investment. that is why your rates go up. my final point is, that storm was several weeks ago, a storm that was not contemplated. it did mass destruction. unfortunately, it resulted in customers being out for almost a week. i know the company feels terrible about that because it is an awful lot to keep the lights on. host: david owens, from edison
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electric institute, an association of shareholder owned electric utility companies. let's hear from sharon, democratic color, new york, new york. caller: good morning. i would like to know what edison plans to do with major solar eruptions that are expected to knock out the entire grid? guest: well, the question really relates to solar activity, something the utility industry is always prepared for as much as we can be prepared. essentially, a solar storm, and all the very simplistic, it looks at your high areas of electricity production, your transformers -- which are conversion facilities -- and can
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short them not only to a major disruption of electric service to customers. what utilities are trying to do is make sure systems are well grounded. you cannot totally protect your system, but what you can do is make sure your transformers, they have spare transformers, that your system can be isolated. all we can do is hope and pray the very careful planning we're doing, the investments we're making to make sure when we get this big spike in our current, that we're able to not have that propagate to route our system. we are hardening our systems, looking very careful to make sure we can arrest these very substantial currents that could be achieved as we have solar disturbances. host: adam, republican line, washington, d.c. caller: good morning.
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i just want to start out by stating this, first, you're getting a lot of callers from the d.c. area, concerned with the pepco mess, which is appropriate. what is being missed is the environmental impacts been caused by all of this massive pollution and deforestation that also happens as a result of the power lines and new systems being integrated into highly dense areas or populations. i want to ask, what direction do you think is the most powerful way for us to go in order to make sure our environment is maintained similarly while we push through and build up our infrastructure? the second part to that was, also, pepco itself, i lived in
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bethesda before but a light gust of wind could cause a power outage up there. it was ridiculous. an electrical company is supposed to make a profit. i can tell you, and i believe this wholeheartedly, that corporation does not go back and completely put back into profits it gets directly into that system to oversee it. if they did, there is no way things would have happened the way they did. it does not make sense, especially when other companies and proximity to the or like 10 times more capable of dealing with the same problem at the same time. guest: ok, if i could take your questions one at a time rid this deal with the environmental issues. the environment is a very
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complex topic to talk about. they're very things utility companies are doing, including pepco. let's look at the facilities that provide electricity to our nation, and there's a general mix of facilities. the of solar and wind, and you know, if the sun is shining in the wind isn't blowing, the energy from those facilities is not available to serve customers. it means you have other sources like nuclear which is a clean energy, but there continues to be challenges with respect to long-term nuclear waste disposal, even though i'm very confident that on-site storage that companies have is very robust. we can look at coal generation. i mentioned earlier 50% of our energy is starkly comes from coal and is now about 42%. we are relying increasingly on natural gas. the goal is to balance our economy, to make sure we have a
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diverse power supply, and at the same time, to maintain reliability to keep the lights on, but also clean up the environment. that is where the difficulty comes. you cannot have a perfect environment and have the lights on. you have to achieve a very careful balance among those factors. that's talk more about pepco. let me step back and not take a position about pepco, the talk generally about utilities. they have a responsibility to keep the lights on, to make investments in infrastructure. sometimes when the company goes before a public service commission and suggests there are ways to enhance infrastructure -- in other words, putting more capital in to keep the lights on, to make the system is more robust -- those requests are not always granted. because the commission has to achieve a balance, which they
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have a responsibility to make sure the rates are not skyrocketing at the same time they keep the lights on. i know for a fact that pepco has made tremendous reinvestment into the system. i know for a fact they have made tremendous investment into vegetation management. i know that for a fact because one of my responsibilities are to look at what all the companies are doing, and made huge investments infrastructure. they probably need to make some additional investments into of a structure, as was mentioned earlier, and are looking into the undergrounding. host: is pepco a member? guest: yes. host: the president declared a major disaster.
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david owens, a couple of callers have talked about cutting down trees and those who want to preserve them. who makes the final call was to become much power does the utility company have over protecting their own lines and making sure transmission lines are free and clear? guest: private citizens have rights and rights to say they do not want trees cut down or trimmed. that is the politics of the issue. utilities have a responsibility to keep the lights on to the degree it has been determined that vegetation management, cutting a tree down a part of a person's home, is essential to other customers who rely on electricity, utility has the right to cut the tree down consistent with the loss, consistent with the loss of mentioned earlier about maintaining reliability and safety of the system.
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but customers will still -- some customers will still oppose that. the utility has the responsibility if they see a tree is in danger in electricity service, they have the responsibility to take action and make sure that tree is not destruction or disruptive service to other customers. host: tallahassee, florida. you're on the program. caller: good morning, america. i am calling from the beautiful city of tallahassee, florida. we are a green city. we have a beautiful city. host: we are listening. please continue. caller: thank you. we are a smart meter city where we have installed our own
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system. i want to thank the gentleman from edison for his wonderful explanation of the management distribution maintenance and restoration of our system. i think the an opportunity to bring forward the needed infrastructure. one of the damning reports, the alliance for american manufacturing grated our infrastructure as a d. that grading leads to how it is that we become a dependent and vibrant economy as the infrastructure needs are about 50 years old. guest: that is an excellent point and i can see you're a
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student of the industry. smart meters are a new way of being able to be responsive to customers if there are a major outages. the meter has two-way communications between the customer and the utility. the utility does not have to drive around in a truck to look at who's porch light is on. the meter is one part of what we call creating a dynamic and smart electricity grid or distribution grid. to make the grade more resilient, there are substantial new investments that have to be made.
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customers can put on a rooftop solars some parts of the country. those are individual customers producing industry. system needs to know that the customer is on the roof looking at their collector and the utility needs to know that. we need to modernize the distribution system. we need to have smarter systems where we can sense what customers are doing. we need to know if a vehicle is charging and more directly and more in real time what is occurring on our system. we have to modernize those components of our system. it will take a significant level
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of investment over several years to give customers greater control through the smart meter. enable us to integrate greater technology such as rooftop sol ar. enable us to let our customers -- ask those customers to come off the system. all of these things are essential. we need to make substantial new investments. host: we have a tweet from cspanjnky. there are three main grades in the united states.
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host: andrea, go ahead. caller: this is a complex issue. it is important that everybody realizes that matter what is said about the grid, this cannot be used as an excuse to take taxpayer money to up great equipment -- to upgrade equipment. if more people died chars everytime there trees hit somebody's property line, there
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would be more inclined. there are two things we can do with rolling blackouts and to get our attention to the problem. something that industry experts have been screaming for a while witches construction. how things are built make a big -- our energy could go down a massively. guest: i partially agree with you and those are excellent points that you raise. let's take your last point about the buildings, used passive solar facilities, which reduced the requirements on the utility. i would agree if that were
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possible and if the sun were shining 24 hours a day because we use electricity 24 hours a day. ] i believe we need to have all the above. we need to improve our lighting and to improve the heating systems that we have and to make sure we have proper windows. we need to have our roofs much better insulated. part of the stimulus the american investment and recovery act provided some funds in order to do that to increase their reliance on trying to improve the overall efficiency of their appliances and of their homes. i think that is very important.
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energy efficiency has been a substantial investment for the utility sector as a whole. the utility sector spending over $8 billion a year in this area -- it is close to $12 billion. it is a partnership between the government, the customers, and the utility industry. we have to believe this is vital to our nation. i believe we have to have a clarity in terms of how we go forward on these issues. host: we have a tweet by chris. guest: well, tree-trimming is a vital part if there is an outage.
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we have tree trimmers and we contract with tree trimmers. we cannot look at a company's residence and say, we are going to cut down your tree. there has to be a reason as to why we think it is appropriate to appeal to the customer. "if we get a heavy wind, it will potentially fall into the line and disrupt electricity to the customers." tree trimmers are a vital part of our workforce. they are essential when we get storms. you notice the tree trimmers that were working with pepco after the recent derecho. host: recent headline in "the washington post."
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host: that brings us to this tweet by count_210. guest: there was a lull which focus on the blackout of 2002. providing infrastructure enhancement. if i can focus on several components of that law.
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i made reference to one .rovision sure that when we put in substantial investments in transmission, let's make sure we remove those barriers. the berries are it is difficult for the transmission. there are those who will oppose us a building that infrastructure. it is a risky investment and takes many years to build the transmission line. if you build a line across the state boundary and two states disagreed that the line needs to be built, the federal energy committee could have eminent domain.
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you're building transmission across federal land. let's make sure there is clarity and consistency and a streamlined process. let's make sure there are incentives for the utility industry from private owners and new investors that want to participate. let's create incentives to implement those incentives. some do not believe those incentives are necessary. we're building a lot of renewals. 30 states and the district of columbia are relying on renewals. some are remotely located. we have to build an infrastructure to get those renewals into the marketplace. we have to get governments and
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industry and we have to get consumers to all work together, to agree that we need to enhance the overall electorate infrastructure. we will spend $2 trillion over the next 15 to 20 years in infrastructure. we're doubling our infrastructure investment. some say it is not enough. some suggest we have to upgrade additional amounts of cash but we need clear rules to prevent that from happening because we have to be able to raise capital and demonstrate that this is in the customer's'best interest. caller: good morning. i have heard comments about putting high-voltage currents lines underground.
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this is not possible. there is lost in the kind of power line. it can be done by converting to dc. that is really expensive. this is the reason they are above ground. it is a lot cheaper and simpler. you can take it high-voltage power line and stick it underground in an ac system. you could have a nuclear power plant at one end and get zero power at the other and. it is impossible to greet a system like that that operates efficiently. heard customers say is they would like the distribution system which is set a lower level than the high-
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voltage. the high voltage is generally 100,000 volts and higher. the customers are concerned about how the local utility is able to keep their lights on. they are looking at the lower voltage being underground. that is five to 10 times more expensive than overground. as an engineer, my understanding is if you look at the transmission system, the level of -- the energy that has dissipated from moving the electricity is roughly 7%, 10% at the high end if you have high-voltage and covering long distances. roughly 5% to 10% of the energy
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losses. i do agree with you that a substantial higher cost. there is still a system that is exposed to weather. host: david owens is business operations executive at edison electric institute. was a design and test engineer for g.e. and an engineer at the former federal power commission and the serve as the chief engineer at the securities and exchange commission. thank you so much for your time this morning. guest: thank you for having me. host: up next, the privatization of nasa's efforts.
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alexander saltman join us. first a news update from c-span radio. >> president obama heads to connecticut and will speak at the stamford marriott hotel and then go to harvey weinstein's home fundraiser. in be a co-host. mitt romney raised over $100 million in july. reince priebus saiidd, "once again, this is more than a campaign. it is a cause."
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children will probably notice some changes this year. less focus on a single test. difficult class work. they could see cuts to activities because of the economy. those of some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> democrats are voting this weekend in detroit. republicans start their platform process in tampa later this month. c-span's ridge begins aug. 10, fall by the national convention in tampa and the democratic national convention in north carolina starting monday, september 3. >> "washington journal
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continues. host: every monday we look to your money. today the role of space flight at nasa. joining us is alexander saltman. the big news overnight was the rover landing on mars. were you awake at 1:00 a.m. this morning? guest: i was. i came in on a plane and it was a little bit nerve wracking. i was happy they got down safely. host: why is this significant? guest: it is one of the largest rovers ever landed on a plan thaet.
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it is capable and able to a lot of exploring on mars and it will go to a lot of places we have not been before. the mars rovers in the past have used airbags to land and so they bounce all over the place. they might fall in a crevice. host: here is a recent story from "usa today." host: might we see efforts including a commercial interest? guest: there is no commercial reason or few commercial reasons
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to do that. nasa has to a be the leader in space exploration to mars. it will be a part in getting to continue on to mars another way. it will be a part in making sure the space station can be maintained for a relatively inexpensive price. host: how important our commercial interests in general right now? how commercial spaceflight is working now compared to 15 years ago. guest: they have always been supporting players. nasa has designed the vehicles. this is the first time nasa has asked a company to build the
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whole thing. the control is with the companies and is a new way to do business. host: private interest is being touted as the future. guest: nasa is a big customer. the basic goal is to reduce nasa's cost on doing things they do all the time so that nasa can look at the harder things like going to mars. host: here are some of the numbers. host: if you like to talk with alexander saltman about the
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exploration program, here are the phone numbers to call -- a story from "the l.a. times." this is just coming out on friday. host: how were these companies chosen? guest: there was a long competition. all these companies had won previous awards and now part of the last group. there was another company that won money in that round.
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these are contracts. they have not won the contracts until they perform. the companies get paid when they meet certain milestones. nasa will not pay them until they hit some of the milestones. host: building a space plane that closely resembles in many space shuttle. guest: building capsules. sierra is building a space plane. there designs an expert taste comes from nasa nasa originally did the research on that stuff. host: give us a sense of what
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the commercial spaceflight federation does. guest: we have about 45 members involved in human space flight, exploration with robotics, the planetary resources, a whole slew of new businesses in space. i work on capitol hill and more with nasa to make sure we're all on the same page and that there are programs that companies can take advantage of. host: how is safety in short across-the-board? guest: nasa doesn't design the system anymore so they need to make sure they are safe for the astronauts to fly.
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certify the vehicles. we're pretty sure they will be ok. host: we saw coverage when nasa ended the space shuttle program. how momentous of a shift was the? guest: the space shuttle was around for a long time. it was about 30 years old and it was time for something new. nasa doesn't have and endless budget and could not build a replacement for the space shuttle until they retired it so they could use the money to build the next thing.
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nasa will build a vehicle to go beyond earth's orbit. industry is coming in to make things easier for nasa. nasa needs to save money and this is one way to do it without compromising safety. host: this is our weekly "your money" segment. alexander saltman is the executive director for commercial spaceflight federation. this is a part of the country that you know well. we saw footage of the nasa employees celebrating in the middle of the night. guest: i wished i could be there.
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host: brendan in south bend, indiana. good morning. caller: good morning. it is a business that requires a lot of capital. you need to have been out of money and rockets to get off the ground. suppose nasa starts getting into long term prospects with these companies so they can get up to the shovel and go belly belly-up.go guest: that is a good question. one of the hallmarks of this program is competitive. there are multiple companies involved. you get the efficiency that the
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competition brings. sometimes companies do lose out and they could go out of business. there are other companies to step in. initially there were two winners and had to raise enough capital to make sure they could deliver for nasa. one was not able to raise their capital. nasa said they would do another competition to replace them. there are many companies willing to step up to be part of the program. nasa pays for all the cost of the development, regardless of what happens. it was a failure on the part of the company but it was a success
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for the model. host: good morning. you are on the program. caller: hi. i'm not entirely at all for the nasa program. i do not think it has done anything for our country that i can tell. people can take away the ungodly laws that we have. we're killing some many babies every year. host: are you opposed to the exploration program in general? caller: i do not know much about means.e spaceflight tell me one thing that going into space has done for us.
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host: looking for a justification of the exploration of space. guest: there are direct benefits that the technologies developed. we have seen incredible things, of those. the first use of photo cells. computer systems were developed for space vehicles that we now use. there are tons of spinoffs. a large number of high-tech developments have come from space. it is important that we explore, that we have a frontier. in this modern world, the world is getting smaller. it also can be constricting and
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it is important to have some place that we dream about, that kids and adults can dream about. host: if you like to join the conversation, republicans 202- 737-0002. democrats, 202-737-0001. independents, 202-628-0205. alexander saltman is executive director of the commercial spaceflight federation. here is a tweet from jim. guest: right. that is what i do not know. it is hard to know if they had done it differently. the mars exploration program is run from the jet propulsion lab in california.
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they proposed a major program and nasa approves it and sends it to congress. the jet propulsion lab design is the system and sends it to other parts of nasa and other parts of the jet propulsion lab and the industry to build. that is a fairly standard method for the jet propulsion lab to use. they need a huge amount of expertise and it is a national treasure. one of our companies is interested and doing some robotic mining. the first that would be using telescopes to look at nearby asteroid that would be a nearby target.
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they have a bunch of former jpl employees on staff. host: kelly from massachusetts on our independent line. caller: you said you are giving companies $1.1 billion. why are we giving them money to reinvent the wheel? we already have the technology to get into space. why aren't we sharing the technology? guest: the companies are using nasa's technology to get into space. the space shuttle was an incredibly capable vehicle, but was not a cheap vehicle.
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it had a lot capabilities that we did not need. it was a vehicle that was good for lower earth orbits. they build two capabilities to replace it. the other is to go beyond lower earth orbit, but we did do with the apollo program. the space shuttle was a very high-tech vehicle but it wasn't the right vehicle for where we're going now. host: here are some numbers from 2011, looking at contract awards that were given how.
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host: these funds were given to companies. a question from monty on twitter . guest: the commercial applications can seem far- fetched. if you can find water, water can be turned into fuel that you can use to power a rocket. it can be useful for exploration. you could turn it into fuel that an exploratory vehicle can be used to come back.
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it is possible there will be businesses in space and the local filling station may be the gas station for vehicles out there. host: danielle from florida -- daniel. caller: a woman called in for a reason why the space program was important. i was 9 years old when kennedy announced we would be able to go to the moment in 10 years. cape canaveral at that time was so important to the issue that took place years ago. bye been reading a book david nolan. it has a good article or section about the nasa space
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center and how was helped to develop over the years. two of the things that you said -- you mentioned computers. there are some other things of that were important that we got out of that. satellite coverage throughout the globe and to make sure our neighbors are being fair with the world. it hasn't always worked out that way. the secondary thing that almost everyone uses today is the global gps system, tells everybody were to go and makes it easier for us to bounce a satellite. we watch our tvs through satellite.
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we have global information that took us seconds were used to take weeks. i do not think people remember the investment we put into our country as well as to are luxuries. the world continues -- without it, become a stagnation. everyone of them wants to have the technology and the ability and the funding to be able to do what we do, and we do it better than anyone in the world. host: have you seen a shuttle launch yourself? caller: i've gone to cocoa beach and watched them. it is a glorious thing to s
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ee. we have lost lives. there are things that gore wrong that these people go into it just like i go to work every day knowing i can be injured. we take on those responsibilities to leave in legacy behind four children, just like edison and einstein. they all left a legacy. i commend the space center. outsourcing in order to save money. it does make sense when you outsource to save money. sometimes you have to do that. host: thank you for your call. guest: that is totally right.
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the satellite industry is now $100 billion across the world and there are incredible applications that have come from that. we live in a different world now. i think outsourcing can confuse people. nasa is a really outsourcing. they're doing a different form of contracting. by using commercial industry, they will be bringing some of those jobs back. down on the space coast, there have been a lot of jobs lost as the shuttle program wound down. also in houston. it is awful for those people to lose their jobs.
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our companies are starting facilities in florida and in houston and elsewhere where there were a shovel jobs lost. we're still small and so we're not going to be replacing all those jobs -- where there were lost. jouttle jobs host: charge in colorado, democratic caller. caller: i would like to talk to you about the space program and how does that jibe with the debt that we have in this country and the amount of money that we put into space. then we're cutting off the food stamps for many of our poor people that are trying to survive. guest: well, the government has
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many different things it is trying to do at the food stamps program is incredibly important. i would not want people to cut that money to spend on space. spending on space is investment in the infrastructure of the company. it makes us stronger by encouraging our students to go into science and engineering fields. in excess, by giving us capabilities that we didn't have before ike with communications satellites and gps systems. and applications like google maps were not possible without satellite information. comparing it to other programs, i do not know how to compare apples and oranges. we do gain a lot of advantage from it. this is the type of investment
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that will trigger the next period of economic growth. host: how are congress and the white house looking at the money for space exploration? here is one story here from alabama. host: how is the wrangling going? guest: awfully the house and senate both have their competing budgets. -- hopefully the house and senate both have their competing budgets.
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in many cases, i think the house and the senate and the president have recognized that the nasa budget is important and they have tried to protect it as best as they can. there have been programs that look like they are in danger including some of the robotic exploration programs, which is a shame. they have been doing the best jobs they can. we would love to see nasa funding as robust in these times. we're working with nasa to reduce cost, and that is a big part of what we are selling. host: getting back to the story .
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guest: that's right. sort of a good story for these days in washington. the administration work with the house to come up with a compromise on the commercial spaceflight provisions. not as much body as we would like. also and that there should be about 2 1/2 winners. host: wayne maryland on the republican line.
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caller: the weight they have privatize the space program damages the country possibility to spread the money out throughout the states and districts, which if you do that, that creates more goodwill and support throughout the program. the space program is one of the greatest programs the country has ever devised. by centralize a into a small group of companies that are it, that is to its detriment and i'm proud of them for landing that rover last night. i think it was a great thing. i just hope that the country gets back into math and science
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technology groups and starts supporting that for the next generation. if we do not, we will lose a great deal of our technology in the world, which will make us less safe the long run. as far as the babies being killed, i think the baby's who died because of heart disease and lung disease because of the pollution, it is more a factor than we should concern ourselves than any other. we need to take care of our environment. host: why did you think the mars rover landing was so significant? caller: it shows we still have a
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technological ability to do such things, such marvelous things. history, how could we have conceived of such a thing with in the past 50 years? these are leaps and bounds in technology that we're taking. it shows man's altman ability to strive -- man's ultimate ability. host: a tear from chicago, frome -- let's hear chicago, bonnie, independenct. caller: i did not know there was no reason for the nasa program
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until i hear from this man. all that could have done with out a space program. for endangering our lives with the space junk that is up there? i don't think there was a good reason that he gave. some of these callers are undercover nazi workers and we need to have a better reason than that. guest: i cannot agree with you there. there are doctors doubt that can do remote medical procedures across the country or across the world over satellite connections, and i think that is a tremendous development that has been great for all of us. problem witha space junk. all that is so small that whenever it enters the earth's
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atmosphere, it burns up and there is no risk to anybody on the ground. there have been some amazing developments from the space program. host: we have a tweet from roy. how do you keep costs under control? guest: right. the import thing is to keep competition. when we think about government programs that have gone over budget, in many cases there are situations where there is a contract between a contractor and the government that encourages both sides to keep the program growing larger. one of the new developments in the commercial space industry is that things are on a more commercial basis.
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the government pays for what it gets. if there are overruns, the company has to pay for the extra. it is a way to reduce the risk of that kind of thing happening. host: how long before we see manned space flights by commercial enterprises? guest: there are two types of space flights. one is orbital space flights. the other is sub orbital space flights. there are many companies that are trying to do the latter very soon now. they include version galactic -- virgin collector. they think that several should be flying people, paying customers, by the end of next year.
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they're doing glide tests and i'm sure there will be a lot of tests before they fly people. it is pretty exciting. we could see those flights within the next 18 months. host: johnny from phoenix, arizona, welcome. caller: thank you. thank you for having me on your show. i am the opposite of the young lady that called earlier. my belief is that nasa has not done enough. we have not had a real manned space program since the apollo missions. there is a book called the " third industrial revolution."
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the key to manned space flight is the type of transportation vehicle, we have to come out with a new transportation vehicle, says the author. now we can have a serious manned spaceflight. what people will realize is there was a type of technology -- this is for real -- that was developed and did work and we could explore not only our own solar system but explore stars and going into the galaxies and galaxies. that is what i call a real manned spaceflight. guest: it is true that after the apollo program, i think some people were disappointed in the manned spaceflight program.
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they built a huge international space station, where research goes on all the time. it is pretty clear the difficulty of getting into orbit and getting people off the planet was greater than people thought and it has taken longer. all we need is a reusable vehicle. the space shuttle was designed to be a reusable vehicle. it had to be refurbished between flights. if every time you flew from d.c. to london is that to throw with a plane when you got there, it would be a very expensive and not many people would be doing it. all the companies interested in space flight are adjusted in making more of the vehicles reusable.
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host: alexander saltman has a doctorate from stanford university. now serves as executive director of the commercial spaceflight federation. we are looking at how your tax dollars are spent. tom from austin, texas. caller: my name is tom. we had a very operational space program with the apollo program and it costs us approximately $24 billion to send the asked not to the moon. it/t do we do with tha we squandered it -- did we do with thait?
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we could've had day lunar observatory. all this kind of stuff would have been practical back then. it will cost us four times go again.his same warm agaiworm guest: the apollo program was an amazing moment for our country. nasa was getting about 10 times as much money as it is getting now. it turned out that wasn't sustainable. the apollo program was an exploratory program. they were reaching out to the moon. to keep doing that, you have to have a firm base on the ground in terms of infrastructure and
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lower earth orbit, with the space station we have now. we are creating that space-bar, that will allow us to reach the moon again and then up into mars. we should keep in mind that the chinese have gone a lot of press recently. we still are the world leader in space and we haven't lost that lead. int: let's hear from anthony baltimore, independent caller. caller: good morning. i love c-span. i am concerned. how was it that we can justify some money in the country are calling for deregulation. how can we justify the cost and
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then no oversight because people will say, private companies do their own thing. it is our money being spent. guest: i do not think there's much risk of the no oversight problem in space. are several other agencies that are interested in space and to work with our companies to make sure everything is ok. there is an office that regulates space launches and that is an important thing. whenever companies are doing goes overiness, nasa with a fine tooth comb to make sure the taxpayers are getting as much as they can for their dollars. host: the caller brought up the
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space race. how is private industry changing the way countries are competing? on date unifying the international committee more -- are they unifying the international community more? guest: it is less intense than it has been. there were too big, we've been using teams that include europeans and russians and others to accomplish those. there has been more cooperation and less competition. we don't have that operation with the chinese. they have their own goals in space. there are

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Washington Journal
CSPAN August 6, 2012 7:00am-10:00am EDT

News/Business. Live morning call-in program with government officials, political leaders, and journalists.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Nasa 40, Us 39, U.s. 35, S&p 26, Obama 22, Washington 17, Romney 16, Yuval Rosenberg 13, Texas 9, Harry Reid 9, Pepco 9, India 7, David Owens 7, Florida 6, Alexander Saltman 6, America 6, North Carolina 4, Detroit 4, Ohio 4, New York 4
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